JANUARY 2017

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- Suresh Jaura
Publisher and Managing Editor

MORE SMOKE & MIRRORS

0712 flag pakistanSectarian violence in Karachi is just another chapter in Pakistan’s long history of violence against minorities, has afflicted Pakistan virtually from its moment of birth...

TRUMP'S FOREIGN POLICY

U.S. allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, smiling through their teeth, are feverishly hoping that Washington will maintain its security commitments. The Russians are ... . . ..   

AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN-USA

A US revaluation of its Af-Pak policy appears likely under Trump... It is, however, unlikely that US AfPak policy under Trump will be ‘more of the same’. Crucially, Pakistan’s role in supporting terrorism in Afghanistan . . .

NUCLEAR WWWIII

Escalation of hostility may become a thermonuclear WWIII.

ARM & TRAIN

Non-Muslims in violent conflict areas to enhance the security...

HYDRO BOOM & CONFLICTS

With approval of power plants, conflicts have arisen ...

SUICIDE TERRORISM

Growing support for suicide terrorism

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Obama’s Talk Closer to Indian Position On Nukes

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By Shastri Ramachandaran*

Present-day summit meetings are about optics and atmospherics. It is the triumph of style over content. The meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama was no different. In the age of tweet and TV-driven news coverage, events take precedence over outcomes and sound bytes over substance.

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INDIA – PAKISTAN: J&K - Deepening Democracy

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By Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

Reaffirming their reviving faith in India's democratic set up, a total of 71.28 per cent of voters cast their vote during the first phase of the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) State Assembly Elections on November 25, 2014. The Sonawari Assembly constituency in the Valley registered an 80.10 per cent voting. Voting for 15 out of 87 Assembly Seats took place on the day. The State is in the process of holding a five-phase Assembly Election, scheduled to conclude on December 12, 2014. Counting will commence on December 23, 2014, and results will be declared on the same day.

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INDIA- PAKISTAN: Mindless Adventurism

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By Ajai Sahni
Editor, SAIR; Executive Director, ICM & SATP

By Anurag Tripathi
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

Since October 3, 2014, the India-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has witnessed the worst kind of Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) violations since November 2003, when the CFA was signed between the two sides. There is a complete pandemonium at the India-Pakistan border in J&K– 190 kilometers long International Border (IB) and 776 kilometers long Line of Control (LoC).

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PAKISTAN – USA: Death from the Skies

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By Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

At least eight terrorists — including a senior member of al Qaeda’s South Asia chapter and a key Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) ‘commander’ — were killed and three others were wounded in two separate United States (US) drone strikes in the Khyber Agency and North Waziristan Agency (NWA) of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on October 11, 2014.

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Moving Beyond the New Deal in Afghanistan

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By Shanthie Mariet D’Souza *

The establishment of a national unity government in Afghanistan last month was a political deal, but was perhaps the only way out of the protracted electoral dispute in which both presidential candidates claimed victory amid allegations of fraud which had the potential of fracturing the country on ethnic lines.

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What Transpires in Afghanistan

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Author: Musa Khan Jalalzai
Publisher: New York, Algora Publishing, 2014

Book Review by Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed *

As 2014 draws to a close, the concern uppermost in the mind of many an individual is that of the future of Afghanistan once the US pulls out (will they really or can they really or should they really?). What happens in Afghanistan will inevitably carry deep implications and ramifications for neighbours and indeed the wider world.

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Bangladesh: Death for Merchants of Death

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By S. Binodkumar Singh
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

After forty-three years, justice finally caught up with Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) ameer (chief) Motiur Rahman Nizami (71) as the International Crimes Tribunal-1 (ICT-1), one of the two War Crimes Tribunals constituted by the Sheikh Hasina Wajed Government, sentenced him to death on October 29, 2014, for atrocities during the Liberation War of 1971. Nizami was found guilty on eight of the 16 charges brought against him.

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Should Bangladesh Take Al-Zawahri’s Threats Seriously?

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By Taj Hashmi *

The answer to the question planted in the title of this article is a definitive “NO”. There is absolutely no reason to take Ayman al-Zawahiri seriously or consider his threats “ominous”. If al Qaeda could, it would have attacked Bangladesh by now. Between February and September this year, Zawahiri has circulated two video speeches, the first one primarily focused Bangladesh and the second one mainly focused India. The fugitive head of al Qaeda, which is fast losing ground to more radical ISIS and its ilk, in his hour-long speech in September declared that the terror outfit had set up a new branch in the Subcontinent with a view to waging jihad and establishing an Islamic caliphate across the region.

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BANGLADESH: News Briefs

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RAB launches centralized database system: The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) while inaugurating the database management system at the RAB headquarters in Dhaka city on November 27 launched a centralized database system along with detailed information about 40,000 criminals who have been in 64 jails across the country since 2011. RAB sources said that it can generate 150 types of information, including Auto Biometric Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), about a criminal of the country. The Independent, November 28, 2014.

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Nepal to Protect Public Health from Tobacco Industry Interference

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By Bobby Ramakant *

There is a direct and irreconcilable conflict of interest between tobacco industry and public health policy. This conflict of interest is also enshrined in the preamble of the Article 5.3 of the global tobacco treaty (formally called WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control). The WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan had said at a recent meeting in Moscow: "Giving any tobacco company a place at the negotiation table [of global tobacco treaty] is akin to appointing a committee of foxes to take care of your chickens."

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Indian Prime Minister Modi Prevented from Speaking at a Temple

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By A Correspondent

The Indian government, on November 25, confirmed the cancellation of a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to one of the most famous Hindu temples in South Asia, the Ramjanaki, in Nepal.

The decision was taken after a group of 22 Nepali political parties officially protested against what they call “religious propaganda” by the Indian Prime Minister.

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